Figurants EP – new music to be released Feb 1, 2016

Figurants, the wraith says they’re called, these surreally mute background presences whose presence really revealed that the camera, like any eye, has a perceptual corner, a triage of who’s important enough to be seen and heard v. just seen.”
Infinite Jest, pg. 835

Receiving acclaim for his work as both bassist and composer, Brad Cheeseman has been steadily positioning himself as a unique voice in Canadian jazz. Considered by some to be “one of Canada’s bright new jazz composer-artists,” his music has been described as having the “subtleties of the best modern jazz music” with a strong emphasis on musical storytelling. On Figurants, Cheeseman brings this idea full circle with his most ambitious work yet: a series of new compositions based on David Foster Wallace’s landmark novel Infinite Jest.

Joined by Brad Cheeseman Group alumni Lorenzo Castelli (drums) and Jeff LaRochelle (tenor sax & bass clarinet), as well as Kevin Stolz (piano), Colleen Allen (alto & soprano sax), and Aidan Sibley (trombone), Figurants explores various characters, chapters and themes from Wallace’s novel, using varying instrumentation and moods to set each scene. Whether it’s the urgent quartet performance on “Year of Glad” or the elegant complexity of “Scaling Mt. Dilaudid,” Figurants looks at both the themes and world of Wallace’s novel while recognizing their parallels in the world around us.

Selections from Figurants will be premiered at Spectrum Music’s upcoming “Literary Landscapes” concert.


1. Year of Glad (4:34)
2. The American Century as Seen Through a Brick (6:45)
3. The Wraith Himself (6:45)
4. Scaling Mt. Dilaudid (7:31)


Summer Update

Here’s what’s been going on lately:

Brad Cheeseman Group

The BCG played at Burlington’s Sound of Music festival back on the 16th, and it was a blast. There aren’t any more shows currently scheduled so I’m hoping to use the time to work on some more new material. Hopefully the next time you see us there will be a lot of new additions to the repertoire! Until then, the EP is still available at Bandcamp if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Brownman Electryc Trio
Brownman’s new Electryc Trio record, Gravitation, was released today and I am featured on the second track, “Ladybird”. This album also features a bevy of amazing bass players, including Marc Rogers and the one and only Damian Erskine. Go pick up a copy at CD Baby or iTunes!

Gravitation: a Study in Freefall
I will also be playing with this insanely talented band at the Beaches Jazz Festival on July 25, 26 and 27.

Now Playing
Here are a few of the records I’ve been digging lately:

Mathias Eick – Skala
Mingus Big Band – Nostalgia in Times Square
Peter Erskine New Trio – Joy Luck
TesseracT – Altered State
Yellowjackets – Mint Jam

Other Notable Upcoming Gigs
July 15: John Cheesman Jazz Orchestra – The Rex, Toronto
July 25/26/27: Brownman Electryc Trio – Beaches Jazz Festival, Toronto

As always, be sure to keep checking back. I’m always adding new transcriptions, gigs and other content.